What is brain fog? What causes it? Are there natural remedies for this condition? These are just a few questions we are about to cover in hopes of bringing you relief from this all too common health concern.
Brain Fog is Not a Medical Condition
It is a state of confusion and forgetfulness. There is not a blood test to diagnose but there are is a symptom checker list. It involves a series of symptoms that are related to your cognitive functions.
Although there are many symptoms, brain fog feels like an overall sense of not feeling as your normal self. How long brain fog lasts depends on the reasons it occurred. Home remedies range from supplements to dietary adjustments.
Causes of Brain Fog
There is not one set of reasons a person may experience trouble with focus, memory and concentration. There are many causes of brain fog.
Research is important. If you can’t determine the culprit for your scattered thoughts then speak with your physician.
Below is a list of well-known causes.
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Blood sugar levels
- Depression or anxiety
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Chemotherapy (1)
Brain Fog Symptoms
These will vary from person to person and may include but are not limited to…
- Aphasia – “losing your words” while speaking
- Confusion/cognitive decline
- Memory loss
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of patience – you become irritable more easily
Irregular sleep patterns cause or worsen the effects of brain fog. When your brain is deprived of sleep it does not have the opportunity to recover from today and prepare for tomorrow. If you have trouble falling asleep, you may notice a fog the next day.
Studies have shown a direct link between untreated sleep apnea and brain fog. (2) Overall memory may not be severely impacted but recalling specific details of it will be.
Fatigue is a feeling of being overly tired; mentally and physically. Symptoms of fatigue occur when your energy levels are depleted, concentration is impaired and decision-making becomes difficult. What tires one person may not another. This makes symptoms challenging to diagnose.
Aphasia is a term that covers a deficit in language. The word on the tip of your tongue situation.
Occasionally this is normal. If it occurs more often, it’s important to evaluate the reason(s). It is frustrating to communicate when the words just won’t come to you.
Cognitive decline is something we all deal with. Sometimes it is just a momentary issue but others it seems to take over.
Repeatedly looking at an apple and calling it an orange? Can’t seem to figure it out? That may be more than day-to-day confusion. It could be part of a bigger underlying issue.
Memory Loss happens to everyone from time to time. A sign it may be more than normal is when the lack of memory makes it difficult for you to carry out your daily activities. Work becomes harder, home life is frazzled and communication is awkward.
Lack of concentration can make school, work or even just relaxing with a good book, difficult. It is hard to accomplish pretty much any task without the ability to focus. Learning and memory go hand-in-hand.
Limited patience may result from your frustration over the state of chaos your brain is in. Sometimes a little physical activity can help get you back on track. It may not be a long term solution but will give you a much-needed break to gather your thoughts.
Depression and Anxiety are a complex issue when discussing this topic. Each may be a symptom, a cause or even both. When your nervous system is not operating at its best, there is a long chain of reactions that happen. Your mind does not process information as it used to.
Who can suffer from this condition?
Anyone. This condition is not determined by things like genetics, age, ethnicity or health conditions. There are many situations that bring it on.
Maybe you are overstressed and experience a lack of clarity. You may be older and take a medication that induces an altered memory. Your diet may help or hinder your memory. There are many factors to consider when determining why you are experiencing this frustrating issue.
Women experiencing menopause or pregnancy often report a state of brain fog. We have all heard the phrase, “pregnancy brain”. Hormones have a direct effect on the human brain. During these times in a woman’s life hormones are fluctuating at an abnormal rate.
Diabetes patients also suffer from a loss of concentration and recall. The irregular blood sugar levels affect the brain just as the hormones do. Some diabetics report they can tell if their numbers are off balance from their state of mind.
Natural Supplements for Brain Fog
Natural remedies have many benefits when you are looking for a way to get rid of brain fog. One important thing to keep in mind is, do your research. Not all supplements are created equal. Look for one that only has high quality ingredients without all the added chemicals.
- Ginkgo Biloba is commonly heard when talking about brain health. It has existed as a medicinal supplement for centuries. People have reported increased mental clarity, memory and an improved overall brain health.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) has been studied as a benefit when working to decrease hazy brain. It has been found that various chemotherapy treatments often lead to a blurry memory and daily challenges. (3)
- Vitamin D has a direct connection to a healthy brain. While aiding in a healthy immune system, this vitamin also helps produce dopamine and serotonin. Two essential keys to a happy and healthy brain. (4)
- Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to many symptoms; lack of mental clarity is one. Surprisingly, as many as 15% of Americans do not have adequate levels of B12. (5)
- Lion’s Mane is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for its many benefits. One has shown great potential in helping with mental clarity and focus.
- Magnesium is required for about 50 biochemical brain functions. The same areas that control memory, focus and more. A simple supplement or change in diet can easily correct this.*
- Turmeric has a compound called curcumin. This has been found in various studies to benefit many aspects of a healthy functioning brain. (6)
Foods for Improved Mental Clarity
Foods for brain fog are easily added to your daily routine. Simply adding or taking away certain foods can produce a substantial change. Sugar is known to be a thief of various cognitive functions. Limit your intake to see improvement.
As covered earlier, Omega-3 fatty acids are key to a healthy brain. People often think of fatty fish when discussing this category but there are other options as well.
- Soy beans
- Chia seeds
Other foods well-known for their brain health benefits are…
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
In summary, not all brain fog is created equal. Do your best to determine why is is present. Proactive is always better than reactive. Keep your nutrient levels normal, choose wisely when planning your meals, stay active and be kind to your body. You only get one!